This is the time when Spiritual Care can shine. It is in the tragedy and challenges of life that we walk alongside those who have been entrusted into our care. People are anxious, please offer them the best of your listening skills. Be the calm non-anxious presence in the midst of constant change and concern. We are trained to do this.
Be creative in your work. Many are already sharing resources to be used for encouragement, those in isolation and to negate the negativity and fear that is rampant in our organisations. Look online and ask colleagues for ideas. We can be the positive difference in how people view and navigate their thoughts and emotions during this crisis.
Should you have encouraging inclusive resources (ideas/printouts/visuals) for workplaces, that you are willing to share with other members here, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What has been the impact of COVID-19 on spiritual care within aged care? One practitioner, David Drummond, has written about the preparation and support undertaken at the McKellar Centre in Geelong, in an article published in the international journal, Health and Social Care Chaplaincy. He considers the physical, psychological, social and spiritual service variations that were necessary in order to continue to provide for the health and wellbeing of those in aged care.
Editor (and co-author) Lindsay Carey has given access to SCA members. Thank you, Lindsay! And if you are interested in preparing an article for publication, please contact Lindsay on his email by 1 July
Click here to read the special article.
The world’s foremost expert on grief, David Kessler shared his thoughts on why it’s important to acknowledge the grief you may be feeling, how to manage it, and how he believes we will find meaning in it.
More via the Harvard Business Review
Nourish positive emotions. This is one of the best ways to disarm fear and uncertainty. Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh uses the breath as the gateway to calm, joy, and other positive feelings.
"Breathing in, I experience calm in me. Breathing out, I smile to the calm in me. Breathing in, I experience joy in me. Breathing out, I smile to the joy in me." >more
"May all beings be safe.
May all beings be content.
May all beings be healthy.
May all beings live with ease." >more
Spiritual Practice by Thich Nhat Hanh
1. Breathing in, I experience calm in me. Breathing out, I smile to the calm in me.
2. Breathing in, I experience joy in me. Breathing out, I smile to the joy in me.
3. Breathing in, I experience equanimity in me. Breathing out, I smile to the equanimity in me.
4. Breathing in, I experience openness in me. Breathing out, I smile to the openness in me.
5. Breathing in, I experience happiness in me. Breathing out, I smile to the happiness in me.
This is the Time to Be Slow
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
John O'Donohue (1956-2008)
An Irish poet, author, priest, and philosopher, best known for popularizing Celtic spirituality.
Psalm 27, 1 1 ‘The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?’
‘May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!’
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.
"If My people turn back to Me, I will heal and restore" (2 Chr. 7:14) >more
These may be familiar passages, but His Word is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1), and His promises are a source of great comfort. Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. When we forget this principle, it leads to increased fear and anxiety. Psalm 28:7 reminds us that the Lord is our strength and our shield, and Jesus told us in Matthew 6:25 not to worry about anything because He is in control. Philippians 4:6-7 adds: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/80359-8-things-every-christian-must-do-to-combat-covid-19)
Some Scripture readings
The Lord is my shepherd, Psalm 23.
A plea for divine protection, Psalm 90, Sunday Compline II.
The call of his Heart, Matthew 11: 25-30
A healing day with Jesus at Capernaum, Luke 4:38-44
Children of God, Romans 8: 14-17
Salvation and suffering, 1 Peter 1:3-9
The promise – a new heaven and a new earth, Revelation 21: 1-7
”Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushthivardhanam;
Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaan Mrityormuksheeya Maamritaat.”
Great Death-conquering mantra translation in English:
”We worship the three-eyed one who is fragrant, and who sustains all living beings. May he liberate us from (Samsara) death. May he (Lord Shiva) lead us to immortality, just as the cucumber is released from its bondage.”
Islamic Council of Victoria recommendations for the burial process of a COVID-19 deceased can be found here.
"Whoever saves one life, saves an entire world" (Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:5).
Traditional prayer for healing:
May the One who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
May the One who blessed our ancestors,
Sara, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah,
Bless and heal all who are sick,
Bring blessing and healing to all. (https://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/when-world-sick-mi-shebeirakh)
In Judaism, handwashing constitutes a ritual before all meals with bread. This ritual originated during the time of the ancient temple in Jerusalem. The priests washed their hands in order to purify themselves before consuming gifts of oil, wine, and wheat. The traditional handwashing ritual requires Jews to pour water over their hands three times and then recite a blessing. Jewish tradition also includes ideas about evil spirits and impurity that are also connected to handwashing. Such ideas, which may strike some today as strange and irrational, remind us that within our own tradition and other traditions there have always been a range of ideas and folk practices that develop to help people deal with things like uncertainty, fear, and things that are hard to explain and understand. (https://www.movingtraditions.org/coronavirus/)
Guard yourself and guard your soul very carefully.” (Deut 4:9). This has been interpreted by scholars and rabbis as a command to take care of our bodies and souls. For example, Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria wrote, “The body is the soul’s house. Therefore, shouldn’t we take care of our house so it does not fall into ruin?” >more
Calm breath >more
Spiritual Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic >more
Chaplaincy Innovation Lab shares resources for chaplains encountering coronavirus >more
Spiritual Wellness Practices >more